Punknews.org
Hot Water Music / The Lawrence Arms - live in Sayreville (Cover Artwork)

Hot Water Music / The Lawrence Arms

Hot Water Music / The Lawrence Arms: live in Sayrevillelive in Sayreville (2008)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Train-hopping three different rail lines was nothing compared to the distances some had traveled to see Hot Water Music play their reunion performance in Sayreville, NJ. Living a modest 1:58 away out on Long Island paled albino-like contrasted against the I-95s and 400s traversed by road warriors we.


Train-hopping three different rail lines was nothing compared to the distances some had traveled to see Hot Water Music play their reunion performance in Sayreville, NJ. Living a modest 1:58 away out on Long Island paled albino-like contrasted against the I-95s and 400s traversed by road warriors wearier than I. Props.

Waiting for Hot Water Music to begin their set was made easier by the incredibly solid pair of openers picked. Getting lost a bit in Sayreville with musical-monkey did cause us to miss the first few minutes of Static Radio NJ's set, but this was okay considering the majority of it was yet to be played. The band dug into some tracks from their EP, One for the Good Guys ("Who's Laughing Now" for one), and paired it with some new songs from a forthcoming (presumably) full-length due out this summer on Black Numbers. The stuff sounded good -- it's more melodic and thoughtful. But if you want a blunt description, it's less Kid Dynamite and more Lifetime. That's made more humorous since their bald frontdude bore physical and stage-wise resemblance to Ari Katz -- only with, you know, energy. A couple of the songs provoked a surprisingly big response from obvious fans, while most everyone seemed to generally approve.



The Lawrence Arms continued the orgcore smorgasbord with show #940 for the trio. Being such a special event, Brendan Kelly was plastered worse than palace walls (according to monkey, he would stage dive twice during HWM's set and possibly get in a scuffle with a Starland security official). He slurred some Heath Ledger jokes, and later became unusually sentimental with the crowd, telling them that hearing Caution made him feel 13 again during a shaky European tour with TLA in 2002. I'm paraphrasing here, so bear with me: "When I hear 'Trusty Chords,' for those three minutes I feel like everything is going to be all right." He even went so far as to say that HWM was the reason TLA are still together. Big words! In any event, that had to mean a whole lot of grateful faces in the crowd, because for the majority of the set, emotional, gravelly, forceful sing-alongs were already erupting from the sunken floor of Starland Ballroom. "On with the Show" was hilarious -- the band's most aggressive song (and easily one of their best) was barely recognizable its first few seconds due solely to its ridiculously sloppy intro from Brendan. Speaking of The Greatest Story Ever Told, I was particularly thrilled to hear the rarely played and vastly under-appreciated "The Revisionist," delivered by the usually earnest Christopher McCaughan. But where the reactions lied best were the six songs spun from Oh! Calcutta! of course, as well as the few classics / set staples the band threw in for good measure ("100 Resolutions," "Turnstiles," "Quincentuple Your Money"). The crowd was now saucy, sweaty, and primed for the main attraction.



Set list (8:41-9:30):

  1. Recovering the Opposable Thumb
  2. Great Lakes / Great Escapes
  3. -----
  4. On with the Show
  5. -----
  6. Turnstiles
  7. -----
  8. Quincentuple Your Money
  9. The First Eviction Notice
  10. -----
  11. The Devil's Takin' Names
  12. Lose Your Illusion I
  13. -----
  14. The Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure
  15. The Revisionist
  16. -----
  17. Are You There, Margaret? It's Me, God
  18. -----
  19. 100 Resolutions
  20. -----
  21. Like a Record Player
Somehow, I'd never seen Hot Water Music in the few years they were still together and had me hooked as a fan. But I'd imagine it was quite like this -- the band playing absolutely, positively dead-on and with the same passion that bleeds from their albums' open sores. When I say they didn't miss a beat, I say they carried the heart of a lion. Chuck Ragan howled in all his beautiful, incomprehensible glory, contrasted, as always, by Chris Wollard's mildly cleaner delivery; meanwhile, Jason Black pulsated steadily and George Rebelo blasted away at the skins effortlessly. Watching the smile spread across Ragan's face as he saw a gang of thrilled, crushed fans up front and singing along to the opening caution (womp womp) of "Wayfarer" was simply endearing.



I'll admit the band was oddly heavy on the Epitaph era as they alternated tracks from Caution and A Flight and a Crash their first five songs -- and this comes from someone who hails Caution as their best album and prefers the Epitaph to No Idea (/Doghouse/Some) era. Well, maybe I'm just cranky because they leaned most heavily on my least favorite of the Epitaph era (A Flight and a Crash had 7 songs here, No Division being the runner-up at 5); the underrated (at least, IMO) The New What Next only beared 2 selections, and they weren't even standouts on the album! (Those would go to "Poison," "The End of the Line," "There Are Already Roses," "Keep It Together," "The Ebb and Flow" and "Bottomless Seas." But that's a discussion for another time.)



Still, just about every classic from their back catalog was rocked, and even though the Epitaph songs kept a steady stream of fans busting their gut and flailing about, those numbers like "Rooftops" and "It's Hard to Know" had the entire venue in a chorus. Fans packed out every corner of the Starland floor; speckled with five o'clock shadows and perspectives practically a mile away, even the rear room patrons were still clenching eyes and shouting along in pleasurable glory.



About those aforementioned flailers: The pits did get to be over-the-top obnoxious in some instances; maybe it was Kelly in the aforementioned incident, maybe not, but some sort of fight actually did break out during "Choked and Separated" and the band immediately quit playing (inadvertently bringing the title to life, perhaps). One of the band members (Wollard?) ensured they wouldn't go on until things were settled; once they were, they picked up from the bridge and finished out the song. From my vantage point, I couldn't quite see what exactly was happening, but I'm sure we'll get eyewitness accounts.

Alcohol-fueled overzealousness aside, Hot Water Music delivered just what we all hoped for (again, despite some oddly imbalanced album dependences). The performance was clearly sincere and spot-on, and they even managed to bring along perfect openers to whet our appetites.

[You can find an album-by-album breakdown below as well]

Set list (9:57-11:08):
  1. A Flight and a Crash
  2. Wayfarer
  3. Paper Thin
  4. -----
  5. Trusty Chords
  6. Jack of All Trades
  7. Rooftops
  8. -----
  9. Kill the Night
  10. Instrumental
  11. Free Radio Gainesville
  12. All Heads Down
  13. -----
  14. I Was on a Mountain
  15. Moonpies for Misfits
  16. Our Own Way
  17. Swinger
  18. -----
  19. The Sense
  20. Choked and Separated [paused for fight]
  21. -----
  22. Better Sense
  23. 220 Years
  24. -----
  25. Remedy
  26. Manual
  27. -----
  28. Turnstile
  29. Encore (11:11-11:25):
  30. Giver
  31. -----
  32. At the End of a Gun
  33. Old Rules
  34. -----
  35. It's Hard to Know
Fuel for the Hate Game: 2
Forever and Counting: 2
No Division: 5
A Flight and a Crash: 7
Caution: 4
'Til the Wheels Fall Off / Moonpies for Misfits: 2
The New What Next: 2

All photos by Jason Bergman
More HWM photos
More photos of the Lawrence Arms and Static Radio NJ

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyGreen Day - DookieThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and Exhaustion

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
maverick (February 1, 2008)

See you dudes in Chicago tomorrow night! Best lineup of any of the shows, if you ask me (HWM/Lucero/Able Baker Fox).

Look for me: I'll be the fat, bearded dude in a hoodie fingerpointing in the crowd.

Oh, wait...

Angiepants (February 1, 2008)

Absolutely peeing myself in excitement for tomorrow.

ontheattack (February 1, 2008)

glad i skipped this. don't know how anyone thinks the epitaph stuff is HWM's best work.

el_duderino (January 31, 2008)

Kick ass set but i really wish they played no division, the bitter end, or alachua. Regardless they rocked hard and the larry arms played a great and hilarious set too. Score's for the show overall.

ashtraymonument (January 31, 2008)

haha its funny to see Chris's (Larry Arms) beard develop over time

Will_StrungOut (January 31, 2008)

'I would have loved to have been at this show. great review. I would have loved that HWM set, I think "caution" is by far their best, with "new what next" and "a flight" coming in at 2nd and 3rd. i don't know why so many worship their No Idea stuff, its good, but their musicianship, vocals, and sound quality all stepped up later in their recording career.'

Apples and oranges really. Fuel for the Hate Game is the best album they've done...I think FAC is a little overrated, half of it is great, the rest is kinda boring..the thing is with HWM, they write filler songs sometimes..but their passion makes up for the lack of quality in those songs. Whereas FFTHG has both, I think.

Icapped2pac (January 31, 2008)

"early roll call for the Saturday show in Chicago anyone?"

As Redman once said, "I'll bee dat" plus my HWM-tatooed brother, my girlfriend, and a friend who never got to see them live before. I can't fucking wait.

KurtTGS (January 31, 2008)

early roll call for the Saturday show in Chicago anyone?

sickboi (January 30, 2008)

Security at this club was nothing but a bunch of roid-raging jerks. At one point they came up into the bar (right side of stage) we were in an started shit with Chris from TLA. I have a photo pass and they wouldn't let me in the barricade to take pics after the first 3 songs....yet others seemed to have no problem.

Aside from the drama, and my 102 degree fever, it was a great show. Chuck seemed to be holding back, as I was for some reason expecting him to just go off like he used to. Soundwise, they were amazing, Of course, the crowd singing along pretty much took over the vocals for every song they played, which ruled.

-chris

facetofacereunion08 (January 30, 2008)

wish there was more from Fuel For The Hate Game. Every song on that cd is intense and has great melody.

telegraphrocks (January 30, 2008)

....jasonblackmanboobs

inagreendase (January 30, 2008)

I also agree that "The new what is next" is criminally underrated and "a flight and a crash" is weak.
----
Score is for A Flight and a Crash, which you plainly diss in your review.

Haha, Christ, I never said it was a bad record. I said it was the worst of the Epitaph era, which, at least in my opinion, still ranks it pretty high.

gregchillerton (January 30, 2008)

I travelled approximately 5,000 miles to see HWM at the Gainesville & Orlando shows! I agree with those who said that the setlists leant heavily on the Epitaph side of things, but with the exception of maybe 'Just don't say you lost it' or 'three summers strong' from forever and counting they pretty much covered all the songs I wanted to hear, so yeah the journey was worth it!!

I took a couple of videos from Common Grounds too

Check them out- 'Rooftops' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jljTgnEruY

and 'Trusty Chords' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YVyE3RpGbE

Cheers!

telegraphrocks (January 30, 2008)

Several things:

1) @ Cuffer: "everytime I see them Brenden is ridiculously drunk. That man has a problem.".
I agree he has a problem. I've been seeing TLA since '99, and he's been loaded nearly every time. There's nothing "cool" about being a severe alcoholic. There's also nothing cool about being beat by one.

2) @ baseball: "come on, "Giver" is the best song on New What Next!"
I couldn't agree more. It's one of my top 3 HWM songs.

3) @ cantsitstill: "HWM set list looks weak."
Well, sucks for you. Both sets I've seen from this week have looked orgasmic.

4) @ SST108: "Also no Alachua??"
Really, that's my #1 HWM song, and I saw they played it at the Orlando show, so the fact that they didn't play it at this one makes me think I they may not play it at the Chicago shows, which just may break my heart.
As for you saying: "if you are going to do a reunion show, do it for the fans and play a setlist that is comprised of mostly your older stuff and save your new stuff for if you are planning to get back together"...
Fuck that! I'd love to pick the sets of every band I see, but that'll never happen. Bands should play the songs they want to play, and playing to the crowd is a HORRIBLE thing to do. They reunited to play with each other again, and they're playing what they want to play, which I totally respect. I love all their albums, so the two reunion setlists I've seen are still beautiful in my eyes.

5) @ maverick: "how is it that I've seen the Lawrence Arms, like, 15 times and STILL have never heard them play "Quincentuple Your Money?""
Probably because they hate you.
I think I've seen them play that at every show except maybe 1 or 2.

6) @ MattG: ", and the guitarist from the Bouncing Souls came out to play on one of the encores. Forgot which one"
He plays guitar on "Giver", and since that was an encore song I imagine that's the one he played on.

7) @ HWM:
Score's for you!

paulrulzdood (January 30, 2008)

I only saw HWM once, but it was great. that would have been the Caution tour, fall 2002. I had to walk a whole 3 blocks to club laga in pittsburgh to see it too. opening was an "illusion of safety" era thrice. dope.

paul

paulrulzdood (January 30, 2008)

I would have loved to have been at this show. great review. I would have loved that HWM set, I think "caution" is by far their best, with "new what next" and "a flight" coming in at 2nd and 3rd. i don't know why so many worship their No Idea stuff, its good, but their musicianship, vocals, and sound quality all stepped up later in their recording career.

P.S. i've only seen TLA 4 times and heard 'quinctuple' twice. your luck sucks Scott.

paul

MattyG (January 30, 2008)

I'm not the hugest HWM fan (In fact the only albums of theirs I love are No Division and Caution) but this was easily one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. Incredible.

Oh, and the fight was between a crowd-surfer and a security guard who was trying to kick him out; his friend stood up for him, and a fight broke out. Luckily Dave Hause and Brendan were there to save the day. Jason Black was the one who stopped the show, and afterwards Chuck said "We're not playing for fights."

Oh yeah, and the guitarist from the Bouncing Souls came out to play on one of the encores. Forgot which one.

maverick (January 30, 2008)

Seeing HWM this Saturday in Chicago and am getting pumped for it (and the roadtrip with four other people that will be bookending either end). My dream would be them playing "The Bitter End" and/or "Driving Home," my two favorite songs of theirs, but I doubt either will happen (in all the times I've seen them since 2001, I've never heard either live).

Also, how is it that I've seen the Lawrence Arms, like, 15 times and STILL have never heard them play "Quincentuple Your Money?" Ugh.

-Scott

chickswithdicks (January 30, 2008)

FYI: paying to take public transit is NOT the same thing as train-hopping.

Score is for people spending huge amounts of time and money on played-out bands they could have already seen a dozen times 5 years ago had they not been worshiping Strung Out, Lagwagon etc. Cheers to quarter-life crises.


i'm not gonna lie, i'm kind of with this guy.. except i would've spent huge amounts of time and money if i had it on this regardless of seeing HWM 7 times in the last 6 years of their existence, they're just that good.

misterspike (January 30, 2008)

Great review and pics. I wanted to write a review of the Orlando show from last Saturday, but beer conspires to make the full setlist a little hazy. Great vibes that night from the band and audience alike, providing a real sense of celebration. Jason and Chuck especially seemed somewhat awed by the response they were receiving stating several times, "We never could have imagined".

Welcome Back HWM, if only temporarily. You have been missed.

SST108 (January 30, 2008)

Sorry but this whole show was a terrible disapointment for me and my friends who drove three hours to see it. First off, if you are going to do a reunion show, do it for the fans and play a setlist that is comprised of mostly your older stuff and save your new stuff for if you are planning to get back together. Second having been a veteran of many pre 2k hot water shows (including the one chuck mentioned about the day the melody burned down in NB, so we all went to a basement, of which kid dynamite also played), this was by far a lame performance. They used to have so much energy from chuck breaking mic stands with his face and constantly losing his guitar to black jumping all over the place. I realize they are older, but I am 31 myself and still dance at shows and have a good time. This whole show was spent standing around hoping they would play more pre division st songs. Also no Alachua?? Come on. They were a great band in their heyday and having been a fan for so much of their drama and breakups that this show put the nail in the coffin for me. Would rather see chuck doing his acoustic stuff again than this hot watered down show and setlist. Let the ripping commence...

Icapped2pac (January 30, 2008)

I'll be at the Saturday show, and I'm glad to know they're planning on shuffling the set lists for each show, because I think "Flight" is their weakest album by far. I will probably literally cry, though, if they don't play "I Was On A Mountain". I may be emo, but I'm '98 emo, so there will be no makeup in my tears and no hair in my eyes.

cantsitstill (January 30, 2008)

and this comes from someone who hails Caution as their best album and prefers the Epitaph to No Idea (/Doghouse/Some) era.

there's a reason to stop reading the review right there.
HWM set list looks weak.

sludgeweasel (January 30, 2008)

My girlfriend and I bought tickets for this show the day they were available, but somehow in the two months leading up to it, we got the date confused and thought it was on the 26th instead of the 25th. We planned a round-trip to New York on a greyhound, arriving Tuesday morning and leaving Friday night, so we could get a good night's sleep before driving out to Sayersville the next day. How we managed to plan everything without double-checking the tickets or the website is something we'll be kicking ourselves for eternally. Needless to say, when we were informed at 4pm on Friday afternoon that the show was in 3 hours and our bus wasn't leaving until 10pm for the 4 hour drive back to Baltimore where our tickets were, it really put a damper on our visit to the Museum of Sex. We felt like Burgess Meredith, sitting amongst the rubble, holding our broken lenses, repeating "It's not fair...it's not fair at all!" in vein for the rest of our miserable, HWM-less lives. So, here's hoping for more reunion shows, or maybe access to a time machine within our lifetime.

baseball (January 30, 2008)

come on, "Giver" is the best song on New What Next!

i am so bummed i couldn't make the trip up from Baltimore that weekend :(

score is for HWM in general, obviously!

drewshaw (January 30, 2008)

i really think this show would have rocked!! awesome set list, i love the old and the new HWM, heaps of flight and a crash, but i really don't see that as an issue. i like all there records/songs. honest

magneticbedhead (January 30, 2008)

awesome fucking show...I'm actually more on the No Idea side as opposed to Epitaph. I actually got more and more disappointed by the Epitaph era as it went on. Would have liked two or three more track from Forever and Counting. However with that said....they were awesome. I haven't seen a band that charged up in a long time. You could tell how much Chuck was appreciative...the dude had a grin on his face the entire set.

LeightonESmith (January 30, 2008)

i caught HWM the third (and final?) time they were in Australia. So so so stoked for the memories.
I also agree that "The new what is next" is criminally underrated and "a flight and a crash" is weak.

MsJustinChris (January 30, 2008)

I was pissed that I couldn't afford to see Anti-Flag last night here in Melbourne, but then I got on here and saw that live Turnstyles video from this show. Who cares about Anti-Flag after seeing that!!

grantino (January 30, 2008)

chuck ragan and i have the same haircut and neck beard...cute, i guess.

onegirlarmy (January 30, 2008)

Score is for people spending huge amounts of time and money on played-out bands they could have already seen a dozen times 5 years ago had they not been worshiping Strung Out, Lagwagon etc. Cheers to quarter-life crises.

You say such a thing as if everyone should have been listening to HWM years ago. So what if people just got into them? Everyone has to start somewhere. Like I'm sure you haven't had excessive change in music taste in the last 5 years. Also, who cares if people spend time and money on a band they love? It's their choice, not yours.

Score is for being judgemental.

joetheinvincible (January 30, 2008)

"Plus everytime I see them Brenden is ridiculously drunk. That man has a problem."
Do you seriously just not get TLA?

Looking at the setlist, I have to say that Orlando got the better one so far, although I would have killed to see The Lawrence Arms play that set since I STILL haven't seen the Revisionist or First Eviction Notice life. Samiam was great, but TLA can trump just about everyone.

Score is for the Orlando show.

contrarian (January 30, 2008)

FYI: paying to take public transit is NOT the same thing as train-hopping.

Score is for people spending huge amounts of time and money on played-out bands they could have already seen a dozen times 5 years ago had they not been worshiping Strung Out, Lagwagon etc. Cheers to quarter-life crises.

cuffer (January 30, 2008)

I wish TLA would play older stuff sometimes, I don't care for Oh Calcutta! Plus everytime I see them Brenden is ridiculously drunk. That man has a problem.

dagrizz (January 30, 2008)

I was at this show and chuck and ben in boston too,both shows were great but the fans aren't the same "family" they used to be.

asxyouxwish (January 30, 2008)

fuck, just reading that they closed the night with it's hard to know gives me chills. great band. wish this would have come close to baltimore. i can keep hoping i suppose.

piratasmuertas (January 30, 2008)

Score is for A Flight and a Crash, which you plainly diss in your review. Good band all around though.

danperrone (January 30, 2008)

what a show!!!!

JERSEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

damnitsderek (January 30, 2008)

I hate my life so much for not being able to see this.

ashtraymonument (January 29, 2008)

damnit damnit damnit damnit

JerryCola (January 29, 2008)

I can't wait to see HWM for 2 nights at the Metro, it's been far too long since I've seen them live.

MrKaine (January 29, 2008)

this ruled. being insanely close to the stage FTW!

burningfeeetman (January 29, 2008)

This show was a fucking blast! Thanks to any and all people that I sang along to The Lawrence Arms with for being super fun and understanding what it's all about.

red_eye_inc (January 29, 2008)

Friday's gonna be awesome

davethebull (January 29, 2008)

Saw HWM in Jersey on Friday night only to come home to Boston and see Chuck Ragan with Ben Nichols from Lucero on Sunday night. Amazing weekend.

I agree, though, more No Division and FFTHG songs would have been nice.

mikeinflames (January 29, 2008)

it makes me cry that i wasn't at this show.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go